Spyweb!

Ok, I couldn’t fit this all into a reasonable title, but this is what I wanted for my title:

“[A-Space is] a place where not only spies can meet but share data they’ve never been able to share before.”

Never did I know (before now) that spies were in the business of sharing.  I thought it was about amassing as much intelligence data as possible and deliberately not sharing it with your peers, even if you are working for the same government.  Ah well.  Shows what I know.

i mean, there is something to be said for the various spooks bouncing analysis off one another and hopefully seeing something new from that synergy.  I’m all about the brainstorming.  And I’m not a spy (or am I just telling you that to throw you off-track?), but I do see the necessity of people working across organizations for a common cause.  However, there are other modes of thought on the analysis of data.  Group consensus can keep individuals from picking apart certain ideas they might examine more closely if not shared.  Data analysis in consortium can lead to trends that are hard to break out of, rather than spurring dialogue.  And how much dialogue is inspiring, versus just plain dissension.

And then, there’s always the matter of the classic double agent.  Once you give somebody the clearance to be inside A-Space, what’s to stop them from wreaking havoc?  There are supposed to be controls in place to stop this kind of thing, but again, in such a case, who watches the watchers?

On the whole it’s probably a good tech move, and a good way to share resources and get into real data mining that the people in these agencies need.  But it’s also fun, and funny to the outside world.  To prove my point, I will leave you with a final article quote: “Yes, analysts can collect friends on A-Space the way people can on Facebook. But nobody outside the intelligence community will ever know — because they’re secret.”

Watch out, secret BFF, here I come!

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Miss Mumble

Some of you may be familiar with the game ‘Is Miss Mumble Home’.  It involves a group of people (typically children, though not always, especially in my ‘special’ friend group) sitting around and talking to each other.  But like the also-popular ‘Telephone’, it’s about not communicating.  The game goes like this – one person starts by saying “Is Miss Mumble home?” to the person next to them.  The next person replies with “I don’t know – let me ask my neighbor”, proceeding to ask “Is Miss Mumble home?” to the next person in the circle.  And so on.  The trick is this – you can’t show your teeth.  So when you talk, you cover teeth with lips and end up speaking like a toothless geriatric.  If you show your teeth, you lose.  If you crack up so hard that you can’t pass along the message, you lose.

While the game may be good practice for  all of us who plan on living to a ripe old age (and who still wish to converse, listen, and be understood), on some of us it has a different effect.  For me, perhaps it helped fuel my ambition to be a crazy old lady, possibly one with cats.  For others, it may have helped them in daily brushing once they realized they will always want their teeth.  The unfortunate side effect for me was that I can no longer distinguish when I’m talking like a normal person.

My family would say that I’ve mumble from a young age.  However, their definition is slightly skewed.   What they mean when they say ‘mumble’ is not that the words I speak are incomprehensible and unclear.  Instead, the words are completely clear, but the meaning of the words, when placed together, becomes blurred or too long.  When they say mumble, they mean ramble.  Personally I think they just have short attention spans – I know I’ve needed every word I’ve said.  More disturbing however, are recent effects.  Evidently, now I  mumble.  Evidently, now I get tired and talk into pillows.

I know I have a problem.  I know I need help.  But with time (and possibly a few mouth exercises) I will triumph once again.  But  others out there, beware!  Parents especially, please realize that games like ‘Miss Mumble’ can have a lasting and possibly detrimental effect.